Here at the Reale Adventure, it is sometimes necessary to get Reale (woof, last name puns) about something I am literally asked about every second of my life. I had a wonderful conversation with a great friend and fellow solo traveler this weekend about this phenomenon we experience every time we tell someone about a solo trip. "I'm going to Portland this weekend!" "I'm going to Southeast Asia" hell, i'll even go there "i'm going to the damn grocery store by myself!" and you know what everyone's first reaction is? "WHY?". Why. How has this become such an ugly word? Let's discuss how you don't need no man, why you should travel solo, and how we can turn those "whys?" into "why nots?"
To kick this off, I have had boyfriends. I am not one of those people that is discussing this simply because I am a hermit that's allergic to the sun, laughing at my computer screen and looking similar to White Goodman at the end of Dodgeball. I have been in very long relationships, crappy ones, pleasant ones, awkward ones--trust me, I can vouch. The main thing I have gained from traveling without a companion is the adrenaline filled fact that you are completely on your own. You will be scared, you will wish you had someone by your side, you will be texting your best friend "why did I do this?!?!" Yet, these are things you can overcome and you will be a better person and traveller for it. Embrace your freedom.
Traveling will push you outside of your comfort zone, especially when meeting/socializing with new people. I have met so many wonderful people while traveling and trust me, EVERYONE is in the same boat as you. I recently met a native Aussie traveling throughout Europe after her high school graduation, completely alone. She planned to nomadically explore the greater part of the country for a year, with a loan from her parents. She would later go on to explain to me that this was just "something everyone did" in Australia after school was done.
This was such a foreign concept to me I swear I almost quit my job right there just to join her. Build friendships, you never who you will meet!
Do Not Wait for Someone
If you wait for someone to travel with, you are never going to travel. I hopped on a plane for a solo trip pretty much immediately after my ex-boyfriend & I had broken up. We had talked about visiting Canada together and I caught myself elbow deep in some chunky monkey when I said "why the f*!k am I not going to Canada?". Do.not.stop.yourself. If you want to go somewhere, just go. If you constantly find yourself waiting, make a list of places you want to see and make it happen.
Fuel Your Curiosity
The first time I decided to take a trip solo, I was living on the East Coast a did not know a soul. My college friend had suggested visiting Emerald Isle on the North Carolina coast and I immediately fell in love with the pictures. Was I going to let that hold me back? HELL NO! And when I got to the beach a guy ended up hitting on me and put his number in my phone as "sexi guyyy on the beach". Hard pass, but still a great experience.
Fall in Love..With Places
No matter how scared you are, any judgement from outside sources, or any road blocks in your travels, I guarantee if you "just go", you will fall in love with some pretty incredible places, all over the world. Whether you have a man by your side or not, there is a big world out there and you should not wait to explore it!